2021 EDSIG Proceedings: Abstract Presentation

Solutions by design: Building a portfolio of workflow automation activities

Victor Berardi
Kent State University at Stark

Vaneet Kaur
Kent State University at Stark

Donald Thacker
Kent State University at Stark

New tools and technology for developing applications and workflow automations (WFAs) now make it possible for non-programmers to create impactful digital solutions. This gives employees the opportunity to contribute their own hard-earned understanding of the business in entirely novel ways, which may enable them to ride the wave of automation rather than being undone by it. Employees possess valuable institutional and business knowledge that needs to be properly unbridled, and the emergence of new low-code/no-code (LCNC) platforms allow non-coders to do meaningful development work without extensive coding skills, if any. What was once the purview of professional programmers only, is now within reach of non-coders, thereby enabling what is known as citizen development. This presentation details efforts to develop a portfolio of WFAs using LCNC tools in a variety of curricular areas including marketing, management, operations, supply chain, human resources, and computer applications. Each activity is designed to not only highlight and teach the LCNC technology but to have multiple extension activities that enable significant implementation and application flexibility. Implementation is being developed utilizing a design thinking approach in concert with individual subject matter experts from the curricular areas. Insights and vignettes are being designed to create narratives around both the subject matter application and the technology capabilities of the LCNC systems. We seek to leverage these learning experiences to seed citizen developer activities and resources throughout our curriculum roadmap, and we hope they will be a gestalt of sorts; whereas looked at individually, the activities are useful, but when viewed through the lens of what having a true portfolio of learning resources available to collectively coordinate across our curriculum means, and the impact becomes so much more than the sum of its parts.